Owners horrified as 'aggressive' bees swarm and kill three dogs in Arizona, fire officials issue warning
Three dogs died in Tucson, Arizona, after a deadly swarm of bees attacked them Wednesday afternoon. Luckily, they weren't identified as the dreaded Asian 'murder hornets' that have been in the news lately.
The bees had been taking shelter in a nearby shed just before the attack, Tucson fire officials said, who had no choice but to spray foam on the bees to mitigate the situation, AZ Family reported.
The pooches tragically died despite being rushed to a veterinarian. Following the incident, the Tucson Fire Department advised pet owners to always "be mindful of your animals, but particularly when there are bees on your property."
Just a couple of weeks ago, a family living in Gilbert reported how their front porch was swarmed with an army of bees. The family reportedly started getting notifications from their security camera from the thousands of bees buzzing around the porch.
"When I checked the cameras, I literally could not even see my front porch. It just seemed like there was so many -- thousands of them," homeowner Keli Harper said.
Some delivery drivers nearby the location also couldn't believe their eyes. Harper recalled to the outlet how she saw a FedEx driver in her camera drop off a package and abruptly run away from the property. Another driver from UPS had to wait and see how and where he could leave the package amid the swarm.
"I was speechless. My heart was pounding so much. I just couldn't even -- I was afraid to even go to the door," said Austin, Keli's son.
According to Mountain View Pest Control, this shouldn't come as a surprise as its swarming season. This is when growing hives "split into two, and half the workforce flies away with a new queen to find a new place to build," per the outlet.
The pest control company notes that often the bees fly away on their own accord within a day or so. However, they warn that if the bees stay more than a day, they might start trying to build honeycombs on walls around the property. That said, the Harpers were lucky to find a beekeeper, who came to their house Tuesday evening and removed the bees.
This comes just weeks after the Asian giant hornet grabbed headlines as the next harbinger of death following the novel coronavirus.
The Asian giant hornet, per The Guardian, is the world’s largest and can kill humans. The biggest threat these hornets pose, however, is to the European honeybee, which is reportedly defenseless in the face of the hornet’s spiky mandibles, long stinger, and potent venom.
Washington state reportedly verified four reports of Asian giant hornets in two north-western cities in December. The species supposedly becomes more active in April.
“It’s a shockingly large hornet,” Todd Murray, Washington State University Extension entomologist and invasive species specialist, said in a statement to the press. “It’s a health hazard, and more importantly, a significant predator of honeybees.”
The hornets are known to be as big as the size of an adult thumb, with a yellow and orange head. Researchers sometimes refer to the insect as a “murder hornet” because in Japan, up to 50 people a year reportedly die after being stung by them.